By Frederick Philander
Thanks to the Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ), Namibia has managed to narrow the gap between policy concerns, research results and programme implementation.
This was yesterday said by Alfred Ilukena, the under-secretary in the Ministry of Education at the official opening of the third SACMEQ meeting in the capital. Fifty education planners, curriculum specialists and researchers from 20 African countries are attending the five-day meeting.
“SACMEQ has earned international recognition due to its unique and innovative working style with regard to high quality research projects, aimed at monitoring the general conditions of primary education and the quality of learning outcomes,” Iilukena said.
The deputy director praised the organization’s work done since 1995 when it started with only seven ministries of education.
“Today there are fourteen such ministries represented in the organization undertaking integrated research and training activities aimed at equipping educational planners and the staff of ministries of education and to generate reliable information in support of evidence-based decision making,” he said.
The meeting is being held in Namibia under the auspices of the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning and is primarily financed by the government of The Netherlands.
“My ministry greatly values the high quality of SACMEQ’s work as well as the information the body has produced over the years regarding the low quality of education in Namibian primary schools.
“After this information was made available in 2003, a research team from our ministry travelled to all thirteen regions to disseminate the results and to engage regional education authorities on the policy implications of the results,” he said.
This SACMEQ information has, according to the under-secretary of education, been incorporated in the Education and Training Sector Improvement Programme (ETSIP).